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Monday, July 20, 2009

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RAUUUULLLLLLLLLLLL

Let's Keep Streaking!!!!!! (

The Phils only left one runner on base the entire game...that's unreal.

JW *hearts* CR

Can't wait to read why this win doesn't really count, although there's been a lot less negadelphia here lately.

Say what you will about the FO, but the decision to bring in Ibanez absolutely saved this season.

Jack Nicholson was at the game tonight. Who's next? Spike Lee?

He was there too - didn't you see him on TV?

EF: I've got some for you.

Cholly put in Bruntlett for Utley. Ludicrous. Can't believe Bruntlett is getting any action at this point and his continued usage is not a formula for prolonged success.

Howard's garbage-time HR. Tired of seeing this guy go yard when it doesn't count. He's not an elite player because he struggles too much against LHP and, as we saw in last year's playoffs, his inability to hit lefties is not a recipe for prolonged success.

Utley getting caught between 1st and 2nd on his RBI single in the 4th is the kind of boneheaded play you don't see made by championship teams. That kind of absent-mindedness cannot conitnue.

Moyer looked old on the bench. He's washed up.

Madson didn't throw his change-up. He didn't pitch, but still, zero change-ups tonight. What happened to his change-up?

Lidge didn't inspire confidence.

Steve Phillips is annoying.

Put me down with the wise posters from the last thread who said the report of the Mets rejecting that offer for Halladay is BS. There are 3 or 4 reports out there that all say the same thing: 1. No names have been exchanged with anyone and 2. No firm offers will be discussed until later in the week.

When a game like this goes on and there's nothing much to write about, a true journalist finds an outside-the-lines story to write about. Over at our site, we dissect the annoyingness of Tom McCarthy and Jack Nicholson's great work in the movie Something's Gotta Give.

Crap, I missed Spike Lee? Did he get into a fight with someone? If so, I hope it was Pinella.

I keep remembering the old days, watching the Phils play the Dodgers in LA and seeing Cary Grant in one of the club boxes. Never thought Hollywood would lower themselves to come to Philly to watch a game. I guess a WFC will do that. (Plus Nicholson's filming in Philly right now.)

That video made J-Roll seem like a douche bag

Iceman, Chase was trying to distract so the run could score. That's not a boneheaded play at all.

Sarcasm meter needs re-calibrated...

That's the one part I thought was serious, b/c my wife said (seriously) the same thing.

JeffS: everything listed had the same significance (to me) on the outcome of the game. Especially the Steve Phillips thing.

LOL

You have to know that Icemn is one of the most positive posters on BL, and has been known to chastise those who are overly negadelphian.

Official-scoring question: Why does Chad Durbin get a save out of that game? I guess it's because he came in in the 7th inning and pitched three innings, but how in the world does the scoring system justify a save when you enter with an 8-run lead?

I have thought Lopez was performing well enough that he earned a place at the table. With Pedro coming in -- a move I do welcome -- it's gonna be hard to immediately dismiss Lopez. (A three-quarters-joking thought: maybe Lidge should accept an assignment down one level and Pedro can sniff out the closer's role...)

I was just pi$$ed b/c the woman thing was yelling at Chase for one of the smartest plays I've seen all year. She got it after I explained it.

We need a nickname for Rodrigo Lopez.

Any suggestions?
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Iceman, to you list of negative comments I'll add:

Cole Hamels needs a shave.

Charlie has lost too much weight. He's nearly unrecognizable now.

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JW, your post is right on the money. What they are getting from Lopez is exactly what they hope to get from Pedro. 97 pitches - 67 strikes, against a Cubs team that had beenplaying better lately, 11 - 5 in July.

(They could have signed Livan or El Duque instead of Lopez. Chalk one up for the Phils scouts and FO.)

Pitching depth is good.

Times are good people. Lets all just take stock for a bit and actually enjoy the moment.

14 games over parity, 6.5 game divisional lead, healthy line up of likeable players who play hard, clearly in the hunt for arguably the best pitcher in baseball, current world series champions and a stacked farm system.

Do we get Halladay, do we not? Frankly, I think I am moving towards the opinion of some of the other posters on this board who can see upside in either scenario. Either way, go to work tomorrow with a smile on your face - your Phils are the hottest team in baseball.

SmokyJoe: funny how the assessment of me was not the same 12 months ago, at least to buddies of mine. Many times friends wouldn't want to watch games at my apartment because I was so negative. The WFChampionship changed me as a sports fan the way near-death experiences change most born-again Christians.

I just hope his health holds up. Looked like the last 5th+ was on borrowed energy.

Lopez is now 2-0, 17-2/3 IP, 2.60 ERA, and the Phillies have won all three games he has started.

Charlie, as expected, had some nice things to say about him in the postgame.

"We need a nickname for Rodrigo Lopez.

Any suggestions?"

How about no. Around the time we gave Bastardo a nickname was around the time he started to suck and subsequently get injured.

Notice we have yet to give Happ a nickname.

Don't worry, be Ja Happy...

Had to.....

You get a save if you pitch the last 3 innings of a win, no matter the score.

There was some pitcher who got a save in one of those 20-2 kinda games a few years back.

I didn't realize how well Lilly had been pitching.

From the AP:

"Lilly had pitched at least six innings in 14 straight starts and had allowed only six runs in his last three outings (21 1-3 innings)."

Nice job by the offense tonight.

That Heyman report about the Mets turning down Halladay for F-Mart and some bums is bogus right??

Wasn't there a save in that 30-3 Rangers/White Sox (IIRC) debacle a few years ago?

LA Jeff, most people here think it's total BS?

It was possibly manufactured by the Jays to "motivate" the Phillies FO.

Bastardo's nickname and his sucking are mutually exclusive.

He started to suck when he lost his control and every batter realized he can only throw one pitch.

**Rangers/Orioles and there was a save in that game.

Smokey: 1 man LOB while scoring 10 runs is even more unreal.

I know it's small sample size, but we now have 2 SP with ERA's around 2.60, and most posters want those 2 out of the rotation in 2 weeks.

danger lad: Come on, everyone on here knows that the success or failure of the Phils players are directly related to the comments of BL posters.

Ever heard of the BL reverse jinx? Yeah, the Phils rode that baby all the way to a WFC last year.

Another great game by the Phils!

Ibanez with number :: clearing throat:: 25 on the year. 68 RBI's.

I think this team can finish the homestand 4-2 going into that short west Coast trip. After that trip, this team SHOULD be able to just cruise through the rest of August and September.

I see that "I told you so" tommy has returned.

Sheesh.

goody: You are exaggerating the claims of posters such as myself. J.A. Happ should remain in the rotation if he is not traded since his peripherals match those of a #3/#4 starter, and it is reasonable to expect that kind of performance going forward. Also, he is clearly one of the five best starters on the roster (no worse than #3, in all likelihood). Rodrigo Lopez has demonstrated that he can be a capable #4 or #5 starter with his performances thus far.

What posters have stated is that J.A. Happ should not be untouchable in a Roy Halladay trade based on his peripherals and expected performances going forward, especially if his performances have lowered the quality of the other prospects that need to be included in such a trade. Also, posters have stated that moving Lopez to the bullpen is not an unreasonable move if Pedro Martinez has demonstrated in his rehab starts that he can be a capable #4 or #5 starter since Lopez has had success out of the bullpen as a longman in the past.

Jeff, Keith Law, in a link posted on MLBTR, just called the Halladay to the Mets offer bogus.

Oh you guys beat me to it. I'm glad to see I'm not a biased Mets hater. That offer was absurd but MLB Network was all over it I thought it had to be legit.

paco: I was just making an observation. I fully expected the first reply to come from clout: "So, you think Happ & Lopez are better than Halladay? Interesting!"

Does this mean we should follow Law on Twitter?

Hate to rain on the parade, but the Phillies have 9 games left against Atlanta. If Atlanta goes 7-2 in those 9 games, the lead is only 1.5 games. This is far from over.

J-Roll's vanilla McMansion is weak, but that hyperbaric chamber was pretty awesome.

Gio Gonzalez's stat line tonight:

2.2 IP, 10 hits, 11 runs (all earned), 4 homeruns allowed

Afish: Of course, that's assuming the Phillies are still only 6.5 games up on the Braves when they play each other again.

I don't think the race in this division is over by any means, except for the Nats and likely the Mets.

Afish: Also, if the Phillies lose the rest of the games for the season, we will end the season with OVER 100 LOSSES. You're absolutely right; let's not enjoy this at all, and immediately commence panicking.

Clout, you argued about 2 weeks ago that jp ricarrdi (sp) would only GAIN levarge by hanging onto Halliday until the trade deadline. Still feel that way? The phils must be much less hungry for him after adding 5 games to the standings. I continue to believe that ricarrdi and his mentor Beane just aren't that bright (how the moneyball culture suggests). . When you have a hot target, MOVE HIM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Pretty simple rule of negotiaing a deal.

I feel like a lot of the stuff being floated out there (Mets rumors and the Peter Gammons article on ESPN today) is trying to get the Phils to bid against themselves for Halladay.

HH, I agree. Either halladay is going to get moved for less than we expected, or he is not going to get moved. Rube needs to hold strong, and this winning streak only helps him in doing so.

pretty simple rule of negotiating a deal... when you have the benefit of hindsight and a winning steak this team hasnt had since early 06. if phils had gone 1-9...

AWH: The obvious nickname is Ro-Lo

Iceman: I have some negativity. The last two games I've gone have seen the Phillies score 32 runs. These games are just so boring due to their total dominance. Where are the plays that make you stomp your feet in disgust? Where are the nail biting moments? Where is the tension?

Why isn't anyone talking about Myers possibly returning to the bullpen in Mid-August? Did I miss the thread? It's pretty big news. They reported it on CSN Sportsrise. Myers as a 7th, 8th or even closer if Lidge falters is a huge shot in the arm.

I'll hold off on the optimism for Myers until it gets closer to his return date. It would be a huge shot in the arm, though, and make for arguably the best on-paper bullpens in the league (for what it's worth). Also, a real barn burner going on between the A's and Twins. 14-13 Oakland, but they have 2 outs on the Twins in the 9th.

Ron, every division except the NL West was close when the jays mentioned that they would trade halladay. Yes, the dodgers could have slipped, but much more likely that some other team would make a run. Ain't hindsight, just plain indecision on the jays part. And they are gonna get burned for it.

On that A's/Twins game, old BL favorite Gio Gonzalez gave up 11 earned in 2.2 innings, only to have to A's put up a 7 spot in the 7th to take the lead. Now there's 2 on, 2 out in the 9th with Delmon Young up. I love baseball.

Wow. A's just won after Cuddyer tried to score from 2nd on a wild pitch and was called out. Numerous replays made it obvious that he was safe and it wasn't even close. Tough loss for a Twins team hanging tough in the Central. So... is Halladay in Bloodstripes yet?

spiz - very true, I'd just be worried about moving him before I got a decent perspective on what the market would be, ricciardi's future with the jays might be riding on how this plays out - tough call to move him as possible, but now, yeah if they really want to move him they likely lost some leverage.

ron, I am just unbelievably unimpressed with baseball gms in general. If I was riciarrdi, I would call up the 5 teams that halladay is willing to go to (since he has a no trade clause) and tell them the 3 or 4 players that it will take it to get done. None of this "tell me what your best offer is" bs. You do the former when you have a blue chip asset. You do the latter when you have a so-so asset. In general I'm tired of these half a brain gms in sports. In specific, I love this situation because I think the price of halladay is going down by the day.

Andy Martino says the 6.5 game lead in the division does not change the teams' plan to upgrade the rotation because they are looking at the playoff rotation. That's just awesome to hear.

Back when the team played at the Vet, they would never look to make that kind of trade. They'd try to get to the playoffs and then "anything can happen."

King - Not surprised. Phils are looking and thinking about bulking up for the playoffs given their lead, health status, and weak competition in the East. Only question is now do they get the starter they are looking for or do they settle on bullpen help instead if the asking price is too high.

Lopez did looked gassed by the 5th inning last night and still look likes he is building back stamina/arm strength yet.

Still, you have to think those same issues will effect Pedro and you to wonder if Pedro will be as sharp as Lopez generally has been with his control (especially on the inside of the plate).

It is going to be a tough decision to pull Lopez from the rotation if he pitches very well again his next start (say 6 IP and 1-2 ER) for an untested Pedro in early August.

If Pedro pans out and Halladay or Pitcher X comes over in a trade, Lopez looks to have a tough time hanging on in the rotation. However, rotation depth is a great luxury and, I hate to say it, but these looming decisions have a way of resolving themselves through injury or other calamity.

MG, Charlie also mentioned that RoLo had good movement on his pitches in addition to good command, which sllowed him to go inside on hitters.

He did look a little gassed by the end of the 5th.

But hey, 97 pitches, 6 IP of 1 run baseball, and most importantly, even though he pitched with men on most of the night, he never really seemed to get hit hard.

I'll take that every time from my 5th starter.

As a fan and observer, I was never worried. The Phillies also may be gaining confidence playing behind him.

If they get that the rest of the season from their #5 they're goin to win a lot more games.


Going into this series, when I looked at the pitching matchups, last night was the one that I thought might be the biggest mismatch, though Moyer/Zambrano on Wednesday is pretty tilted toward the Cubbies.

Give credit to Lopez. If he keeps this up he will pitch himself back into the major leagues for good.

Ro Lo is too obvious.

How about "Mi Amigo Rodrigo"?

Tuesday Tidbits:
*Eric Bruntlett's OPS has dipped below .400 (.399) which is by far the most pathetic in baseball. Not opinion, but fact. Seriously, that's the lowest OPS in MLB this season from any player with 70+ at bats.

*Joe Blanton went from being on his way to ruining the Phils win streak on Saturday night to being able to help bump it to double digits tonight (thanks again Mother Nature).

*Jayson Werth has struck out 9 times in 4 games since the All-Star break.

*I was not a fan of signing Pedro Martinez, but I understand the reasoning behind it. My problem with it now is that Rodrigo Lopez has been outstanding in his 3 starts, and it would be nearly impossible for Pedro to outperform him if he were to take his spot in the rotation. Lopez #'s- 2 wins, 17.1 ip, 13 k, 2.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP. Now, I do not expect this level of success to continue, but I also do not expect Pedro to post an ERA below 4.50 either. Pedro is set to throw a simulated game today and then pitch a Single-A game on Sunday. He could be ready to go in about 2 weeks, giving Rodrigo a few more starts and plenty of time for a debate to go from simmering to boiling.

AWH - Give plenty of credit to Lopez. He doesn't have the pre-TJ velocity that I remembering him having with the O's but his control has been impressive and his movement on his offspeed stuff away has been solid too.

That's why I think it is going to be a tough call to take Lopez out of the rotation and put in an untested Pedro. Lopez's gives them another 6 IP, 1-2 ER start and it will be hard to remove a guy who has given them 4 consecutive solid outings as a starter.

It's not like Pedro is going to go more than 6 IP either so the shorter outings from Lopez really are kind of a moot point.

Courtesy of ESPN:

When it rains, we scores.

Did anyone hear David Montgomery on Comcast Daily news live yesterday say they are unlikely to do any type of big deal such as Halladay?
Can we take that at face value or are they blowing smoke?

control13 - At this point, who knows but I wouldn't doubt it. Big moves during the season just aren't the Phils' MO. I would be really surprised though if they don't at least try to bolster their bullpen due to Lidge's shaky status and eventually get a right-handed bat off the bench.

Really no reason they can't address those two areas to bolster the team down the stretch and more importantly give themselves a better shot to win in the playoffs.

On the Halladay front, Ken Rosenthal has a piece up this morning:

Phillies have other options beside Halladay


It's like asking a woman if she's expecting. Unless you see the head coming out, never do it, cause she might just have gained some weight.

With all the "news" on Halladay, unless you see him getting off a plane at Philadelphia Intl Airport, don't believe anything.

Harang looks like a very attractive option because he would be someone the Phils could have that would slide nicely into the 2/3 playoff spot without having to give up 3-4 decent players for Halladay/Lee.

The only issue with Harang is that his 2011 option becomes a mutual one if he gets traded. That means the Phils would likely be on the hook for $14M in '11 to Harang.

That's too bad because I wouldn't mind seeing Harang come in here and take Myers place in the rotation next year.

It won't happen, but if Lopez continues to pitch well up until Pedro is ready to be inserted into the rotation, I'd like to see them try to stack both starters every 5th day. Have Pedro or Lopez start the game and pitch 4-5 innings, and have the other finish the game. Some of the guys at Baseball Prospectus have advocated this in the past, and I believe La Russa has even experimented with it in the 90's for a short time. With Lopez seeming to be a 6 inning pitcher at the moment and Pedro just now trying to get ready to start, it might not be a bad idea to keep both pitchers fresh and effective, and still have them get their work in.

whats even funnier than the bogus mets halladay trade is the guy who runs mets blog acting like it would be a touch decision

I tried to include this stat in my earlier post, in italics, f-ck html:

" The Phillies have outscored their opponents 91-33 in their last 14 games. "

It is a treat to watch a guy like Lopez pitch. His stuff is average at best but he almost never makes a mistake. I would hope younger pitchers watch him closely. They could learn a lot. It's not always about blowing guys away. Sometimes just avoiding mistakes is enough to put an entire lineup to sleep. The guy really knows what he's doing out there.

mdnok - Yeah. Trading 4 guys who are far from certain things and 2 guys (FMart and that SS) who really need at least 1-2 more years in the minors to develop.

Hell, the only guy that has done anything in the majors so far is Parnell and he has been far from dominating.

That Halladay trade to the Mets was 100% BS and almost guaranteed to have circulated from someone is a Mets' hanger-on or in the NY media.

donc: Good point. It's only been 3 starts, but I have a fair amount of confidence in Lopez.

Wonder what the Phils supposedly offered for Spilborghs.

Remember how bad the Phillies were playing during interleague? Seems a long time ago.
This current hot streak is unreal- Long season & all that- but watching this is fun.

Back to Halladay trade central.

donc: When you are given a 9-0 lead, it's pretty easy to look like a competent pitcher. Just throw strikes, pitch to contact, and let your defense do the work. I'm not saying Lopez hasn't been impressive; he has. I just think last night most pitchers could have done what he did.

Spitz: Indecision on the Jays part? Care to back that up with facts? What offers have the Jays turned down?

Ricciardi has said pretty clearly that he will trade Halladay if the deal is goo enough and if it isn't, he won't. The fantasy put forth by mac tonight and others that the Jays MUST deal Halladay at all costs because of their dire financial condition is just that: A fantasy supported by not a single news article or statement from Toronto management. In fact, Ricciardi has said just the opposite.

Again, he'll either get a deal he likes or he won't trade him. The notion that there's no interest in Halladay and won't be any comptetion is laughable.

Lake Fred posted a steamy description of young Rube getting fleeced by Ricciardi in a "screw-job" yesterday, so I thought I'd pass this along from Rosenthal:

"So Ricciardi is quick to the phone these days.
“We’ll just see,” he said. “We’re not bluffing with anybody. It’s gotta be enough to move us.
“It’s like a first date. Show us what you’re made of.”

On Comcast this AM, Myers looks to be able to pitch in August, BP only. He'd be a nice addition to the bullpen, and some insurance against a Lidge breakdown.

MG: I'm just not that impressed with Harang to be honest. I don't consider him much of an upgrade.

Not sure if anyone's posted this- but I'm wondering how the roster sets up if some/all of these pitching additions occur? If they add to the bullpen, who goes? When Pedro makes is first start, we have to assume lopez gets the boot- but to where? Does he accept a AAA demotion? If he keeps pitching well, he might not want to go back down. What happens if Pedro is a bust then, and we've lost Lopez and don't get Halladay? Or, if Pedro pitches well, and we get Halladay without giving up happ? Seems like someone who has had a proven spot has to go...

AWH: It's not at all surprising that the Phillies are exploring numerous options. That's what they should do, although I was disappointed that getting a back-end reliever was not listed among those options. But the most interesting part of that piece was this:

"One scout who covers the Phillies says he likes Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, who is currently on the disabled list, even better than Drabek."

Harang's WHIP is 1.4, gives up a lot of hits and 17HRs so far. No, thanks.

mark: Even if Lopez were to agree to accept assignment to Trip A, because of his veteran status he would have to pass thru waivers. There is zero chance of that happening.

It's hard not to like Knapp. Young, big and throws gas.

JW - Is he an upgrade over Myers? Probably not and he isn't capable of giving the Phils what Myers did in the 2nd half last year.

Harang likely though would come with a much cheaper price tag than Lee or Halladay and the Phils could slot him in to replace Myers in the rotation next year. I would bet Harang would cost one decent prospect (Carrasco) and maybe two other guys (Donald, Gose).

The kicker though is that mutual option that comes into play at $14M if Harang is traded for '11. That is really what makes him unattractive and would probably lessen the price tag if he got moved.

Getting a frontline starter is not only important for the playoffs this year but to almost certainly replace Myers in the rotation next year.

BedBeard: Totally agree. When you consider the age difference and injury history, it's not at all hard to make a case that Knapp will be better than Drabek in the long run.

Does Lopez have any trade value?

MG: Harang is an OK #4, #5 starter. Is that what this team needs?

MG: I'd rather give Myers a one year deal next year, than give up decent prospects for Harang.*

Knapp: It isn't often that the Phils have a starting pitching prospect that throws in the high 90s.

*one year deal assuming he'd like to stay here and prove he's healthy so he can get a long term deal (elsewhere) the following year.

As many have said, an excellent game all around last night. Especially loved Soriano getting lazy and dropping the ball.

Anyway, does anyone have any idea on how Lopez would play in the bullpen? I would think Pedro signed to be a starter, which is what I want to see. I think he can recapture some of his old form. But I worry that Lopez may not have the stuff to pitch out of the pen and I also think he can be useful to this team down the stretch. If they move him off the roster, he is exposed to waivers, correct?

Jack: True enough. But he pitched in a similar manner in his other 2 starts too without the big early lead. As Bedbeard points out it is only 3 starts but the guy seems competent. There are a lot of guys with wicked stuff that we can't say that about.

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